Phenakite Gemstone: Properties, Meanings, Value & More

phenakite gemstonePhenakite is a rare colorless to pale yellow, pink, or brown silicate occurring in several pockets across the globe. 

The gemstone goes by two common spellings: ‘phenakite’ (pronounced feen-uh-kait) and ‘phenacite’ (pronounced feen-uh-sait). While both are technically right, the officially-approved spelling is ‘phenakite,’ so that’s what we’ll be sticking to in this article. 

Hoping for some personal or spiritual growth? Symbolically, phenakite is thought of as a carrier of extremely high vibrations and powerful visionary effects. It’s known as the “Recordkeeper Crystal,” believed to open your mind to different truths, mindsets, and perspectives.

So what is a phenakite gemstone made of, and where can you find your own? Keep reading for the complete run-down on phenakite’s uses, properties, value, and more in our Phenakite Gemstone Guide. 

phenakite gemstone

About Phenakite Stone

At first glance, you might ask yourself, “is phenakite a quartz?” or “Is phenakite diamond?”; and you wouldn’t be the first, either! 

In fact, phenakite earned its name thanks to its visual similarity to quartz, beryl, topaz, and other semi-precious gemstones. The name ‘phenakite’ derives from the Greek phenakos (φέναξ), meaning “deceiver,” because it was mistaken for other gems so frequently. 

Although phenakite is not a traditional zodiac stone, the gem is associated with the astrological sign of the twins, Gemini. It’s believed that phenakite provides Geminis with clarity of mind and insight giving them a sense of stability and confidence to trust in their decisions.

In numerology, phenakite attunes to the number 9, representing the culmination of wisdom — making it an ideal crystal to work with if you’re searching for higher truth.

Moving on, how do you identify a phenakite?

yellow phenakite crystal rough

Phenakite Specifications & Characteristics

Phenakite occurs in a variety of pastel hues, but the color almost always disappears when exposed to sunlight. It’s often found as white or colorless tabular crystals or stubby prisms, although some localities produce flattened, lensoidal shapes.

Rarely occurring alone, phenakite commonly forms alongside other minerals, such as:

Here’s an overview of phenakite’s mineral data:

  • Chemical formula: Be2SiO4

  • Mineral family: Silicates

  • Composition: Beryllium orthosilicate

  • Mohs hardness: 7.5 to 8

  • Color: Colorless, white, yellow, pale rose

  • Crystal structure: Trigonal

  • Luster: Vitreous

  • Transparency: Transparent

  • Refractive index: 1.65 to 1.70

  • Density: 2.96 to 3

  • Tenacity: Brittle

  • Cleavage: {1120} Distinct; {1011} Imperfect

  • Fracture: Conchoidal

  • Streak: White

  • Luminescence: Fluorescent (Red in SW-UV; Blue in LW-UV) 

  • Pleochroism: Present, often weak to moderate in strongly colored crystals (i.e., greenish-blue or violet-red/intense blue)

Earlier, we mentioned that phenakite is often mistaken for other minerals, mainly quartz and diamonds. However, as its name implies, appearances can be deceiving. 

To keep you from making the same mistake, we’ll break down some of their most notable differences.

Phenakite vs. Quartz

At one time, phenakite was actually considered a variety of quartz. Eventually, its crystal twinning was noticed to be quite distinct, becoming one of phenakite’s most distinguishing properties. 

Quartz defines a strong 7 on the Mohs scale, whereas phenakite is slightly harder. Phenakite also has a higher refractive index than quartz, making it more durable and brilliant. 

Phenakite vs. Diamond

Finely-faceted phenakite is rather brilliant, making it easy to confuse for diamonds. However, it lacks the high dispersion of diamonds giving its brilliance a somewhat “colder” appearance.

At a 10 on the Mohs scale, diamonds are also the hardest gemstones in the world — far exceeding the hardness of phenakite. 

If you’re looking for an alternative to diamonds, phenakite just barely misses the mark. Instead, the mineral is better suited for substituting white sapphires, which are becoming increasingly difficult to source.

Now that you’ve mastered how to identify phenakite like a pro, let’s go back and explore its history. 

colorless phenakite gemstone faceted

Phenakite Meaning & History

Phenakite was discovered in the early 19th century in emerald mines in the eastern foothills of the Ural Mountains of Southern Russia. They actually nicknamed phenakite the “Ural Diamond,” and deposits can still be found there in abundance today. 

Finnish-Russian mineralogist Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld officially named phenakite in 1833. He was also the first to scientifically study the ancient Pueblo ruins of the Anasazi culture in Mesa Verde (Colorado). 

Today, many Native American tribes still hold precious stones, like turquoise, azurite, and phenakite, incredibly sacred.

This rare gem even inspired one Michelin-rated chef, Minh Phan, to name her hidden patio restaurant Phenakite. As a gem formed under pressure (more on that later), the name represents the triumph of turning pandemic-related hardships into a rare jewel of an eatery. With a wait-list of over 20,000 foodies anxious for a taste, Phenakite triumphs indeed.  

Shifting gears, it’s time to see how phenakite metaphysical properties could upgrade your mind, body, and soul. 

phenakite healing crystal

Phenakite Healing Properties

You can harness the energy and vibrations of most gems allowing you to use them as potent healing stones that support your wellness in a myriad of ways. 

Many agree that phenakite is especially powerful in crystal healing. As a crystal believed to have high, intense vibrations, phenakite benefits your physical, emotional, and spiritual body. It’s even thought to amplify the power of other crystals in its presence.

First, how does phenakite support your physical well-being?   

Physical Healing

Physically, phenakite may help remedy nerve damage, chemical imbalances, brain damage, and genetic disorders impacting cognitive function. 

The mineral is also said to ease the pain and nausea accompanying intense migraines and headaches. 

Phenakite is purported to help identify and release diseases like cancer, autoimmune disorders, hereditary diseases, and HIV/AIDS.

Spiritual Healing

Ever wish you could deep-dive into your subconscious? Phenakite may be your ticket in. It heightens your intuition, connecting you deeper to your higher self and the Divine. 

The mineral pairs well with moldavite as a chakra stone to activate the third eye chakra. It’s believed to maximize your mind’s capacity, allowing you to explore the psyche via inner journeying and universal truths via out-of-body experiences and astral travel.

Before gems are sold, experts appraise them based on several properties. So let’s see how phenakite stacks up! 

phenakite gemstone faceted trillion

Phenakite Gemstone Properties

Phenakite is mainly considered a collector’s stone. However, its hardness, toughness, and brilliance make it an excellent gem for jewelry.

The phenakite properties that experts typically assess are color, cut, clarity, and carat weight/size — which also happen to be the four C's of standard diamond grading.


Phenakite occurs in a variety of pale colors such as yellow, pink, brown, or teal, never opaque. As mentioned earlier, its hues often fade in light exposure — making colored varieties quite valuable. 

That said, colorless phenakite is just as rare and sought after.


Uncut (or raw) phenakite is widely available and more affordable than other forms. 

Usually, only transparent, hard stones are ever faceted, despite their lack of color and fire

Phenakite is usually faceted in brilliant cut for gem purposes, but you can find it in numerous gemstone shapes. More rarely, it’s cut en cabochon

Some translucent phenakite is cut to display a striking chatoyant-like (or cat's eye) effect. These specimens are called “Star Phenakite” and garner higher prices. 

18.87Ct Phenakite Rutilated world Rarest huge Cut Gemstone$$2999Pictured above: Phenakite with rutile inclusions (rutilated phenakite)


When cut, phenakite has a weak fire but is usually very bright. 

The mineral often contains inclusions of short, parallel-oriented needles. These are usually aikinite or mica.  

Phenakite with eye-clean clarity can be almost as dazzling as diamonds and are a favorite among astute collectors.

Carat Weight

Faceted phenakite ranges typically between 1 and 5 carats in size. 

Rough specimens vary in size but rarely exceed 30 carats. 

The largest phenakite ever found came from Sri Lanka and weighed a whopping 1,470 carats. It cut a 569-carat clean gem and several smaller gems.

Do you know what comes before grading, though? Are you thinking… extraction?! 

Ding, ding, ding! 

white phenakite gemstone rough crystal specimen

Phenakite Formation & Sources

Phenakite commonly occurs in coarse-grained granite pegmatites and mica schists. However, it’s also been found in metamorphic rocks carrying beryl, hydrothermal veins, and greisens (rocks formed near boiling fluids from granite bodies invading and altering host rocks).

Geographically, where does most phenakite for sale come from?

Mining Locations

Although phenakite occurs worldwide, gem-quality specimens only come from a few locations.

The world’s best phenakite is sourced from Nigeria (nicknamed Okuta-Didan, Yoruba for “shining stone,” in honor of their brilliance) and Myanmar. You can find other noteworthy deposits in Brazil, Burma, Norway, Madagascar, and Russia.

Other notable phenakite deposits are found in:

  • Argentina

  • Australia

  • Austria

  • Canada

  • Chile

  • China

  • Czech Republic

  • Ethiopia

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Indonesia

  • Italy

  • Japan

  • Kazakhstan

  • Kyrgyzstan

  • Mexico

  • Mozambique

  • Namibia

  • Pakistan

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Slovakia

  • South Africa

  • Spain

  • Sweden

  • Switzerland

  • Tajikistan

  • Tanzania

  • United Kingdom

  • Ukraine

  • United States

  • Uzbekistan

  • Zambia

  • Zimbabwe

Next, how much does phenakite cost?

colorless phenakite gemstone facetedcolorless phenakite gemstone faceted

Phenakite Price & Value

Phenakite’s obscurity makes it a pricey gem compared to more mainstream minerals. That’s not to say you can’t find some budget-friendly options, though. 

Here’s the inside scoop:

If affordability is at the top of your list, raw phenakite is your best bet. Low to mid-quality specimens will only cost you between $0.70 and $5 per carat. Higher-quality stones range between $15 to $30 per carat.

Faceted phenakite costs anywhere between $29 to $55 per carat. Some faceted cuts have garnered prices as high as $177 per carat.

Phenakite cabochons generally cost around $12 to $24 per carat. 

Prices for phenakite jewelry vary vastly depending on gem quality, alloy, and other materials used. However, here are some general prices you could come across:

  • Phenakite rings: Anywhere between $140 to $3600, but you might find them as low as $29 and as high as $16,000.

  • Phenakite pendants: Around $140 to $260 but can be found for as low as $25 and as high as $750. 

  • Beaded phenakite bracelets: Typically cost between $80 to $200 but can be found for as low as $20 and as high as $1800.

Albeit rare, some carvers will use phenacite to create sculptures or figures. The prices for phenakite carvings range between $100 to $1500 per piece. 

Splurged on some phenakite? Let’s wrap up our guide with the best way to care for your gemstones.

Phenakite Care and Maintenance

Fortunately, phenakite is a reasonably low-maintenance gem. As a result, it doesn’t require much special care, but there are a few rules you’ll want to bear in mind.

First, is phenakite dangerous? Some sources will claim that it is because it contains beryllium. However, this element isn’t exclusive to phenakite — it’s also found in emeralds, aquamarines, morganites, and numerous other gemstones; all of which are safe to handle.

So short answer? Phenakite is harmless, so long as you don’t grind it down to dust and breathe it in. 

A simple mix of mild soap and water does the trick to clean your phenakite. First, use a gentle cloth or soft-bristled brush to gently scrub away any impurities. Then, let it air dry or use a soft towelette. 

Store your phenakite in a cool, dry place out of sunlight and away from harder gems. 

Avoid exposing your phenakite to the following:

  • Harsh chemicals and acids

  • Sudden temperature changes

  • Ultrasonic or steam cleaners

  • Sunlight

Meet Your Higher Self with Phenakite!

“It is within you that the Divine lives.” ~Joseph Campbell

Getting to know ourselves is a lot harder than it sounds. But, if you’ve ever struggled with garnering a deeper understanding of yourself, you may find yourself drawn to phenakite’s transcendent vibrations. 

Already connected to your highest self? Phenakite’s powerful energy could be the missing piece in amplifying your other crystals’ abilities. 

No matter your purpose for phenakite — this is a captivating and magical gemstone worthy of front-row display in any crystal collection. 

Buy phenakite gemstones today!

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